BRUCE DOVER. The Foxification of the Murdoch media in Australia.

The ructions inside the Murdoch empire last week when youngest son, James made a very rare but very public criticism  of the family companies  news coverage of climate change in the wake of the Australian bushfires shines a revealing light on what is likely to be the continued ” Foxification” of our local media. Continue reading

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JON BLACKWELL and KERRY GOULSTON. Aspects of Australian healthcare reform (part 3 of 3) – Big problems and big opportunities

In the first of this 3 part series, we outlined the shortcomings and achievements of our efforts to plan and implement Healthcare Reform in NSW some years ago. In the second paper, we outlined the more recent approach in Denmark, which had a wider and more inclusive Reform Plan. In this third paper, we stress the enormous difficulties currently facing all Australians needing healthcare both now, and in the years ahead, and propose a way forward.

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ABUL RIZVI: Forecasts of Net Overseas Migration – Why they matter

It does not matter much if Treasury forecasts of net overseas migration (NOM) from one year to the next are out by 30,000 or 40,000 as is likely for the 2019 Budget forecast for 2020. This happens regularly. But it is much more serious if forecasts are out by this much for every year over the four years of the forward estimates. Continue reading

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GRAEME WORBOYS: Kosciuszko: Post 2020 fire responses

In January 2020 severe bushfires burnt parts of Kosciuszko National Park impacting its National Heritage listed catchment wetlands, fauna and flora values. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. It’s now or never for the NBN

Last week submissions closed for a parliamentary inquiry into the National Broadband Network. TelSoc, of which I recently became vice-president, lodged a submission prepared by a working group of highly qualified industry experts. Continue reading

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TONY COADY Bouncer barrages, Bodyline and the Laws of Cricket Revisited

In Pearls and Irritations ( September 2, 2019) I wrote about the way that the long-standing intimidatory bowling of bouncers in international Test cricket is both clearly in conflict with the Laws of cricket in spite of being widely practiced, relished by most commentators, and ignored by umpires. Continue reading

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MILES LITTLE. The decency of the commons

Bushfires have devastated this country, yet have allowed us to see the best of human motives and actions. They have also exposed us to disappointments, further loss of trust in governance and a sense of insecurity. Continue reading

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JON BLACKWELL and KERRY GOULSTON. Aspects of Australian healthcare reform (part 2 of 3) – Learning from Denmark

In the first of this 3 part series, we described some partially successful NSW government healthcare reforms in Greater Metropolitan Sydney, and identified shortcomings in their planning and implementation. In this second part, we look at radical reforms to the Danish healthcare system, commencing in 2007, and some of the outcomes of those changes.

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ROB PURDON. Insuring against future bushfires

This summer’s bushfires are a tragedy. There has been massive habitat loss, and we all want to help those who have lost their properties and businesses. But climate change means that we are facing a “new normal”. Continue reading

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GRAEME WORBOYS: “I’ve never seen anything like this before”

Catastrophic fires in Australia in 2019/2020 burnt millions of hectares, lives were lost and property burnt. Huge walls of fire, ember attacks and spot fires burnt through super dry bush and other lands. I’ve never seen anything like this before” was a regular response. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Morisson has rent seekers salivating.

Australia’s pre-eminent rent seekers must be salivating at the thought that the PM might ‘evolve’ its policy on climate change and will be counting up the billions they may reap from his likely emissions ‘reductions’ schemes. Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. How rorting sporting grants became a bipartisan game.

The winner-takes-all approach to grants involves corrupt ideas of government, even if no crime occurred. It is an abuse of power Continue reading

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GREG LATEMORE. Can Scott Morrison Learn to Lead?

Scott Morrison is facing a significant leadership challenge: how to learn to deal with ‘wicked’ problems. The PM’s situation is complicated by a manifest loss of confidence in his capacity to do so. The question is – “can Scott Morrison (or any leader) learn to lead?” Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s threat to the idea, national unity and territorial integrity of India

China’s Communist Party never admits to mistakes but always learns from them. India’s PM Narendra Modi never admits to mistakes and seems too stubborn to learn from them. He calls to mind Barbara Tuchman’s description of Philip II of Spain: ‘No experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence’.

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Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 3 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING.CONSERVATISM, BEAUTY AND SIR ROGER SCRUTON

The philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, the darling of contemporary conservative politics died  on  12 January 2020 aged 75. Tony Abbott is reported to have said that if John Locke is the father of western political conservatism, Roger Scruton is its contemporary intellectual son.  However, from their words and actions, it appears Tony Abbott and presumably his fellow right-wing fanatics never read, or perhaps understood, much that Scruton wrote or thought.

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ABUL RIZVI: Is Dutton Undermining Birmingham’s Tourism Campaign?

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has announced an additional $25 million to market Australia to international tourists in response to the impact of the bushfire crisis. He says this is necessary to ‘save Aussie jobs’. But his counterpart Peter Dutton has been dramatically reducing approval rates for visitor visa applications for Asian tourists. Are they not talking to each other? Continue reading

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JON BLACKWELL and KERRY GOULSTON. Aspects of Australian healthcare reform (part 1 of 3) – Some history

This is the first of three papers. It deals with the history of some healthcare reforms in NSW in 2001, their scope and outcomes. The second will comment on similar but in many ways different and more successful healthcare reforms in Denmark, which has a similar population to the Greater Metropolitan Sydney Area. The third will discuss the present difficulties in implementing meaningful healthcare reforms in Australia.

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JOHN KEANE. Australia.out of luck

Is the Lucky Country running out of luck? Natural disaster or political disaster?   Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Words, words, words.

It is one thing for politicians to duck politically sensitive or embarrassing questions, but it is quite another when they opt for providing answers that are devoid of meaning.

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PAUL WALDMAN. There are no heroes in the Trump Administration.(Washington Post 18.1.2020)

There will be hundreds of books written about this dreadful period in our history, and one of the questions we’ll have to grapple with is this: How should we judge those around President Trump? The ones who helped him, who enabled him, or even just failed to stand up to him?

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JOHN DWYER. The lack of truth in Medicine and Science.

Opioid addiction is pervasive  and growing rapidly. Medicine and Science are threatened by the phenomenon. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

WENDY HAYHURST. Why adequate and affordable housing matters to productivity

A growing body of research is demonstrating the adverse productivity impacts of inadequate or unaffordable housing in Australia (and elsewhere). Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 3 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Waiting for the Replay

Scott Morrison is now having to deal with the two very distinct wings of his party, as they gird themselves for the culture war which will probably erupt at any moment. This culture war will not be about indigenous history, or the date of Australia Day, or even immigration. It is about climate change. Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 19 January 2020

Excess heat will be responsible for 8.5 million deaths per year by 2100. Russia possibly developing plans for adaptation to climate change but Australian politicians continue to rage against the dying of the coal-generated light while investors flee coal companies. Meanwhile an Australian hero works for a just transition.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading

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CHRIS DENNIS. A burning country.

Our country hangs its head in shame. Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON.- Morrison’s scary words on deployment of troops..

Although you can no longer believe everything Scott Morrison says, its necessary to take everything he says seriously and examine his utterances carefully – just in case in a particular instance he will follow through on what he has said. Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER.- Advocacy is hard going against the alcohol lobby.

It is a loss powerfully felt,but subdued. Not by politicians or the alcohol industry, but by doctors and nurses in the clinics and rehab. centres. The highly respected Michael Thorn has departed from the Foundation for Alcohol  Research and Education(FARE) as the CEO. What is the real story? Continue reading

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JOHN TAN. Zuckerberg is right, isn’t he?

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly under intense pressure in the US to curb political advertisements on its pages. Who might be running such a campaign and for what reasons? Perhaps the answer lies in the gap between rhetoric and reality. Continue reading

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KEVIN TOLHURST.- We have already had countless bushfire inquiries (The Conversation 16.1.2020)

As our country battles the most extensive fires of our lifetime, there are increasing calls for a royal commission into the states and territories’ preparedness and the federal government’s response to the disaster. Continue reading

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